Baked Chili

My husband and I are big fans of chili, especially The Perfect Chili recipe.  I could be partial since it’s a recipe that we created.     😉  That recipe makes a huge batch so it’s an awesome make-ahead meal that reheats wonderfully right out of the freezer.  Besides the obvious bowlful of chili, you can eat it in so many different ways, like on top of a hot dog or a baked potato or stirred into mac n’ cheese.  Which got me thinking…  what’s another way to enjoy chili?

This baked chili has layers of pasta, delicious chili, sour cream, provolone, and mozzarella cheese.  Think baked ziti, but with chili.  How could you go wrong with that?

09Baked Chili

Baked Chili Recipe
(About 5-6 servings)


  • 1 pound ziti pasta, divided per instructions
  • 1 cup low fat sour cream, divided per instructions
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 3 cups Perfect Chili or your favorite chili
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded


  1. Cook the ziti according to the directions on the box.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. In a 8 x 8 baking dish, spread a thin layer of chili on the bottom of the dish.
  4. Add 2 cups of the cooked ziti.
  5. Lay down all 4 slices of provolone cheese, it’s okay if they overlap.
  6. Evenly distribute a 1/2 cup of the sour cream on top of the cheese.
  7. Pour 1 and 1/2 cups of chili on top of the sour cream layer.
  8. Add another 2 cups of the cooked ziti.
  9. Evenly distribute the remaining 1/2 cup of the sour cream.
  10. Pour 1 and 1/2 cups of chili on top of the sour cream layer.
  11. Sprinkle all of the shredded mozzarella cheese on top.
  12. Bake it for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator or freezer.


As I mentioned earlier, I love the chili recipe that my hubby and I created.  I posted about it in May so I won’t try to convince you again as to why it’s a perfect recipe (but don’t hesitate to head over to that post to read in great detail all the yumminess that goes into making it).  One problem is that I don’t love the pictures I posted back then even though I know it was the best I could do at that time.  Some experienced bloggers suggest that you not go back and change pictures from a previous post because your blog is a progression and reflects you at the time you made the post.  I agree with that advice, but that won’t stop me from posting new pictures.  Here is a new picture of the same great chili recipe.  There, now I feel better even though it’s not really what the post is about.     🙂

Perfect Chili

Now don’t get me wrong, I love an awesome bowl of chili.  It doesn’t need any bells and whistles, but a little variety never hurt anyone.  I was inspired by another love of mine, an Italian baked ziti.  I took the basic concepts of pasta, marinara, ricotta and mozzarella cheese and replaced them with layers suitable for a chili dish.  Sour cream and a variety of cheeses are famous toppings for chili so that’s why I used them in the layers (instead of ricotta) of this of this delicious baked chili.

Layer, layer, layer.  With savory dishes, I’m not precise with keeping the layers in equal proportions so I don’t weigh each layer like I did recently with my Pumpkin Coffee Cake.   Sometimes it’s hard being a perfectionist.     😉

I start with a thin layer of chili so that the cooked pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the dish.  Then, add about 2 cups of the cooked pasta.  It doesn’t have to look even or pretty because all the nooks and crannies will be filled with other fun ingredients.

01Baked Chili

Next, lay down the slices of provolone cheese and evenly distribute 1/2 cup of the sour cream.

02Baked Chili

Pour about 1 and 1/2 cups of chili on top of the sour cream layer.  Make sure the chili covers up everything you have piled in the dish so far.

03Baked Chili

Add one more layer of pasta (about 2 cups).  You’ll have a little bit of pasta left over and I trust you’ll find a lot of ways to eat it.     🙂  Lather the pasta with 1/2 cup of sour cream.  This is a bit trickier than applying sour cream to the cheese slices, but it’s not scientific.  It doesn’t have to be exact.

05Baked Chili

Pour another layer of chili goodness (the other 1 and 1/2 cups) on top of the sour cream layer.  Lastly, top the whole thing with a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese.  Honestly, if you had some cheddar or Mexican cheese instead, no one would yell at you.

06Baked Chili

Mmm, melty cheese.

07Baked Chili

It’s totally ziti, but with a hearty Tex-Mex flair.  I won’t force you to use my perfect chili recipe, but it’s pretty great and you’d probably love it.  If you don’t use it, then make sure to use a chili that has lots of flavor.

Sour cream is pretty much a must-have ingredient for a Mexican dish.  Not only does it taste great with chili, but it also helps to keep this baked chili moist.

08Baked Chili

Provolone and mozzarella cheese are great melty cheeses and add great flavor.  If you don’t like those cheeses, feel to swap them out for another cheese you enjoy with your chili.

10Baked Chili

While my husband and I were on vacation last month I read Pinch of Yum’s Tasty Food Photography EBook (which, by the way, I loved).  One of the countless things I learned from Lindsay was her suggestion to try to be creative with the props in the photographs, like using a shirt as a background.  The plaid fabric in these pictures is really one of my shirts.  Amazingly, I took these pictures without getting any on my shirt.  Should I have kept that a secret to myself?     😉



4 Hats

Source: Tina’s Chic Corner


Looking for other comfort food meals?

Cheese Slop

03Cheese Slop


Chicken Chili Soup

03Chicken Chili Soup


Italian Meat Sauce

07Italian Meat Sauce



  1. Kelly says:

    This baked chili looks fantastic Tina! We love a big comforting bowl of chili anytime and I love this Tex Mex twist on this amazing dish 🙂 This would be a big hit at our house, thanks for sharing Tina!

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome! Thanks Kelly. 🙂

  2. Tahnycooks says:

    Looking at these pictures instantly made me hungry! I have to try this recipe, chili and pasta together?! Yes, Please!

    1. Tina says:

      Love it! Thanks. 🙂

  3. I love left over chili…especially when you can create something as yummy as this! I’m all about this recipe. It’s perfect! (I’m salivating, to be honest… not fair!)

    1. Tina says:

      I’d say I’m sorry, but I don’t think I am. 😉 You will love this! 🙂

  4. Tex-Mex Ziti??? Is this even real?? OH MY – It looks way too good to be true, what a perfect (and original combo!). I looove it ;D

    1. Tina says:

      So glad you like. 🙂

  5. Your baked chili look so comforting and delicious. Perfect weeknight dinner on cold days! 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      I totally agree! Thanks so much. 🙂

  6. I usually always make Chili in the crockpot, never baked, but now your recipe has me questioning all of this! Looks delicious!

    1. Tina says:

      Hehe, I bet your slow cooker chili tastes fab!

  7. Marcie says:

    I’m certainly not against reposting photos — especially of a recipe that you love so much. I have several I’d love to repost as if the photos aren’t that great, the recipe won’t get the attention it deserves! I think repurposing your chili here is terrific, because there are so many ways to make it even more special! I love chili any night of the week, so I’d love to try yours out!

    1. Tina says:

      I think you’re so right! Maybe a happy middle is to make the recipe again (even if exactly the same) and post it again, without editing the initial post. I’ve always said that if a food blooger makes somethign more than once then it must be REALLY good. 🙂

  8. This is making me drool this morning. Your pictures are stunning. And what a creative use of leftover chilli (and a shirt!!).

    1. Tina says:

      Sorry for the drool factor. 😉 Thanks so much! Haha, my shirt.

  9. Baked Chili – what a great idea! This looks like the perfect hearty winter meal. Delicious!!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much!

  10. Great idea for chili! I just might have to try it! Pinning!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much for pinning! Let me know if you end up trying it. 🙂

  11. This is actually so brilliant! My boyfriend will die over this recipe!

    1. Tina says:

      My husband loves this baked ziti so I’m betting your man will too. 🙂

  12. Thanks for linking up this delicious recipe to our Marvelous Monday party – pinned!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by and pinning. 🙂 Love Marvelous Monday!

  13. This really looks some kind of wonderful – perfect chilly weather food.

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much!

  14. I love, love, love that this chili is baked!!! It looks delicious and easy to make too! I love that!

    1. Tina says:

      Seriously easy and deliciou! Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

  15. Yes, you definitely can’t go wrong with these ingredients! This recipe has my mouth watering. Yum!

    1. Tina says:

      Hehe, thanks so much! 🙂

  16. Liz says:

    Wow, I’ve never, ever thought of making a baked chili, but it’s genius!!! The whole family would be thrilled with this entree!

    1. Tina says:

      I heard lots of “mmm” noises when I served this to my family for the first time…a sure winner. 🙂

  17. My hubs and I have our “perfect chili” too, but I never thought to bake it with pasta. Totally intrigued!

    1. Tina says:

      I like foods like chili and chocolate chip cookies…everyone has their preference and there are a bazillion recipes out there… I love seeing all the variations. Intrigued…I like that. 🙂 Have a lovely weekend Erin!

  18. Can’t believe I’ve never thought of doing this. Awesome idea Tina! I will definitely have to try out your chili recipe. And I love the use of the shirt! 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome! Haha…the shirt…thanks. 🙂

  19. Joanne says:

    How have I never thought to bake chili into pasta!! It’s pretty much the best of all comfort worlds.

    1. Tina says:

      I totally agree! Have a lovely weekend Joanne. 🙂

  20. This looks absolutely heavenly Tina! Looks like the perfect Sunday afternoon meal 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much!

  21. Whoa, what a fantastic way to use leftover chili! I can’t believe it is that easy! I am so going to try this – my mouth is watering. Pinning!

    1. Tina says:

      Completely easy to make! Let me know if you end up trying it. 🙂

  22. Ashley says:

    I love this idea! Such a great way to use leftovers as a whole different meal! We love chili this time of the year – and this pasta bake looks just so comforting! I’d curl up with a big bowl of this! Hope you had a great weekend : )

    1. Tina says:

      Totally agree that this is comfort food 101. 🙂 Thanks much!

  23. Alisa says:

    Hi Tina, we just want to let you to know that we’ve selected your blog as Foodista’s Food Blog of the Day today November 15, 2013. Your blog will be featured on the Foodista homepage for 24 hours.

    We wont post any of your recipes on the feature, just a thumbnail-sized photo associated with the link and a snippet of what the post is about. It will be a clickable link so the readers will go directly to you to read more and check out your recipes. Besides posting your blog on the homepage, we will also be posting shout outs on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

    We also have a badge for you that we give out to our featured blogs. Just send me an email so I can send you the link. Cheers!

    1. Tina says:

      I’m honored! Thank you kindly. 🙂

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